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Whitebridge, Semley, 

Shaftesbury SP7 9QP 

Music and Music Literature 





Seigneur de la Trinite 
Member of the House of Laymen of the "Province of (Canterbury 

LONDON : 28 Margaret Street, Oxford Circus, W. 

OXFORD : 9 High Street 

First Impression, 1915 


THE substance of this Essay has already 
appeared in 'The Treasury magazine. It is 
now reprinted with additional matter, partly 
from a series of articles in The Sign, and 
an Introduction kindly contributed by Dr. 

Walford Davies. 

A. R. 


AS" appropriate hymn-tune releases and relieves our 
inmost feelings, and for this it is welcome. But 
often a shout or a cheer, if unanimous, will do the like, 
and a tune must do more. It must stimulate the emotions 
of which it is the vehicle ; more important still, it must 
regulate them, otherwise it may do no good service to a 
congregation, but the reverse. As a safety-valve a sweet 
melody has its uses ; but in repetition it may let off 
so much steam as to send congregations away enervated 
instead of refreshed and invigorated. Discernment is 
difficult in this matter ; distinction between the fit and 
unfit tune is a delicate task. But it has to be attempted, 
and especially at this juncture when old Hymnals have 
disappointed many good judges, and when new Hymnals 
have not altogether satisfied others. 


To those who have had opportunity to study public 
taste in hymn-tunes for any length of time, two reflections 
seem to emerge : (i) A tune must at all times be pro- 
foundly native to the congregation who use it ; (2) it must 
sometimes be more restrained in sentiment than will at 
first be popularly welcome. These may seem very obvious 
truths ; but it is strange that choosers of hymn-tunes and 
guides of popular taste in the matter are often in danger of 
forgetting the one or the other. The two policies of 
"give us that we can like" and "show us that which is 
good," should be constantly in mind to temper each other. 
A good moralist may exhort congregations to love that 
which is good and straightway to solve the problem. But 
we all know how sacred personal associations will handicap 


judgements and cause people to become unreceptive and 
even antagonistic to a fine new tune. Tunes must not 
exhort congregations, they must win their hearts. Mr. 
Athelstan Riley clearly bears all these things in mind. 
He does not pretend, himself, to be superior to any 
tyranny of associations. But he approaches this venerable 
form of art as an enthusiast conscious of dangers and 
abuses, and he keenly searches for that which is good 
in every department (except perhaps the Anglican chant !), 
and while he gives much information to his reader, he 
will do him the still greater service of compelling him 
to test his own judgement, enlarge his borders, and find 
good reason for the faith that is in him. This will be the 
reward especially of those whose previous bias differs from 
that of the author ; and all will be helped in their search 
for balance, for fitness, and for innate beauty in hymn-tunes 
by the perusal of a book which, with no claim to omni- 
science, fearlessly metes out praise and blame, and 
enunciates at the same time principles which transcend 
all blame and demolish all prejudice. The present writer 
desires specially to point out two such principles (see pp. 
25 and 78). The one wisely suggests that unison and 
harmony have the power to " bring into relief the excel- 
lences of each other " a profoundly important meeting- 
ground for some quite bitter controversialists ; the other 
urges that " popular tunes which are bad will fade away 
before popular tunes that are good." It is surely never 
the badness of the bad song that is popular, but its 
momentary fitness ; nor is it the goodness of the good song 
that repels the simple mind, but its unfitness to the 
moment ; and herein lies a great hope. 

H. W. D. 














PEAKING to yourselves in psalms and hymns and 
spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your 
heart to the LORD." S. Paul twice mentions hymns, 
and each time in connection with psalms : in the passage 
from his Epistle tp the Ephesians and again in that to 
the Colossians. In the case of both there is an apparent 
musical direction, pointing to some kind of antiphonal 
singing. Was there any serious distinction in the Apostle's 
mind between x^aX/xo? and i^vo? ? The question is not 
easy to answer. Pliny, in his famous description to Trajan 
of the earliest Christian worship, speaks of a carmen Christo 
quasi Deo which certainly answers to a hymn, but nothing 
of the kind has come down to us, and the knowledge we 
possess of the earliest liturgical forms leads us to believe 
that a prose ascription to the Redeemer is more likely to 
have been the origin of Pliny's carmen than what we now 
call a hymn. 

We first get on sure ground in the third century. 
</xo9 IXapov (translation : " O gladsome light," by the Poet 
Laureate, E. H., No. 269; "Hail, gladdening light," by 


Keble, H. A. and M., No. 18 O.E. : I prefer the latter) is 
certainly as old ; it may be older. In the West the earliest 
use of hymns seems to have been at the tombs of the 
Martyrs, on their festivals, or in outdoor processions. 
Good examples of this kind of hymn may be found in the 
works of Prudentius (b. A.D. 348) and S. Paulinus of Nola 
(A.D. 353431). S. Paulinus wrote long hymns in honour 
of S. Felix of Nola for his festival year after year. A few 
stanzas from one of them is given in the English Hymnal 
for a patronal festival (No. 195), and a similar hymn of 
Prudentius for a martyr (No. 185). With the exception 
of <a>? tXapov I know of no earlier hymns than these, and 
the only contemporary hymn-writers are S. Ambrose 
(A.D. 34097) in the West and S. Ephraim the Syrian 
(d. A.D. 373) in the East. Some verses by S. Ephraim for a 
vigil are given in the English Hymnal (No. 194). Amongst 
his undoubted works there are many long poems still used 
liturgically by the Syrians, but there is not much else in 
what we should consider hymn form. Few hymns can 
be attributed with certainty to S. Ambrose, but these are 
unsurpassable. Listen to the Veni Redemptor gentium a 
perfect model of what a hymn should be. l 

" Come, thou Redeemer of the earth, 
And manifest thy virgin-birth ; 
Let every age adoring fall, 
Such birth befits the GOD of all. 

O equal to the FATHER, thou ! 
Gird on thy fleshly mantle now ; 
The weakness of our mortal state 
With deathless might invigorate." 

1 Neale's translation with slight alteration, E. H., No. 14. Morgan's, 
in H. A. and M., No. 55 O. E., is unfortunately in the wrong metre. This 
is corrected in the new edition. 


It is not until the sixth century that we find hymns 
asserting themselves as a fully recognized part of the choir 
services ; there seems to have been great unwillingness on 
the part of the Early Church to bring modern compositions 
into juxtaposition with the Scriptural psalms and canticles. 
Strenuous opposition to the admission of hymns into divine 
service shows itself in the West as late as the seventh 
century, and required the sharp rebuke of the Council of 
Toledo (A.D. 633). But by that time hymns of great excellence 
were pouring upon the Church like a flood. Romanus, 
S. Andrew of Crete, S. Cosmas, S. Germanus, S. Theo- 
dore, Theophanes, Methodius, S. Joseph, S. Metrophanes, 
and, above all, S. John Damascene are representatives of 
the school of Greek hymnographers who wrote from the 
seventh to the tenth centuries. Sedulius (c. A.D. 450) carried 
on the Ambrosian tradition in the West. A salts onus 
cardine is indistinguishable from an Ambrosian hymn, and 
what could be more serene and beautiful ? 

" From East to West, from shore to shore, 

Let every heart awake and sing 
The Holy Child whom Mary bore, 
The CHRIST, the everlasting King. 

Behold the world's Creator wears 

The form and fashion of a slave ; 
Our very flesh our Maker shares, 

His fallen creature, man, to save." 

And this translation by Ellerton (E. H., No. 18 ; H. A. 
and M., No. 483 O. E.) seems to me as good and melli- 
fluous a translation as it is possible to have. It is altered 
for the worse in the new edition of Hymns Ancient and 
Modern. It is very unfortunate that whilst the musical 
side of the new edition should be so immeasurably superior 


to the old the texts of the hymns, especially the translations 
of those Latin office hymns which were already in the right 
metre, should have been so pulled about. Venantius 
Fortunatus (A.D. 530-609), the author of the famous Vexilla 
Regis, I S. Gregory the Great (the hymns attributed to him 
are not quite certainly his, though undoubtedly of the sixth 
century), our own Bede (A.D. 6 73-73 5), 2 Rabanus Maurus, 
S. Theodulph of Orleans (both of the ninth century), and 
S. Fulburt of Chartres (c. 1000) lead us to the two 
Bernards, of Clairvaux and Cluny, with whom we may 
close our list of early writers. I have spoken of hymns in 
the services of the choir. Still no hymns were admitted 
into the Liturgy, or Mass, and it was not until the tenth 
century that the composition called " the Sequence " was 
introduced between the Epistle and the Gospel. The 
development and characteristics of sequences we shall con- 
sider at a later stage. So much for the history of Christian 
hymnody. We shall now occupy ourselves wholly with 
the music. 

In considering the music of hymns, a digression is 
inevitable. What is the condition of our English Church 
music at the present day ? Are we to be satisfied with it ? 
What of our cathedrals and the traditional " cathedral 
service," the object of emulation on the part of so many 
parish churches ? Are we to be content with the standard 
thus set up ? In the last century I suppose he would have 

1 The E. H. has Neale's translation (No. 94); H. A. and M., old 
edition, Neale's translation, with alterations of the beautiful melody and 
bad harmonies (No. 96). The new edition has given the music in 
proper form. All the Plainsong in this book is well done. 

2 Bede has been somewhat neglected in English hymn-books. Only one 
of his hymns is in H. A. and M., O. E. ; another has been added in 
the N. E. Three are in E. H. 

been thought a bold man who prophesied that this standard 
would be called in question. But now great names in the 
musical world are calling for reform, and the new Roman 
Catholic Cathedral at Westminster is showing to all what 
a " cathedral service " can be like, which neither neglects 
the old nor eschews the modern, but preserves that balance 
and contrast between Plainsong and Polyphony which render 
both conjoined a fitting dress for the solemn dignity of 
Catholic worship. The fact that at the great festivals a 
critical appreciation of the music at Westminster Cathedral 
occupies so large a portion of the Times, whilst the music 
of our own great metropolitan churches is very summarily 
dismissed, should give us English Churchmen, and especially 
those of us who are responsible for our choirs, food for 
very serious reflection. 

But we are concerned with hymns what is our position 
with regard to these ? There are those still living who can 
remember the ordinary hymnody of the Church of England 
up to the year 1861, the metrical psalms of Tate and 
Brady, with hardly a dozen hymns, still to be found at the 
end of old Prayer Books ; I can myself, for the change was 
necessarily gradual. From that tyranny, after a few pre- 
liminary efforts, notably the Hymnal Noted, by other hymn- 
book compilers, Hymns Ancient and Modern came to deliver 
us. Before that date not only were the Church seasons 
very generally neglected, but hymns of a missionary and 
evangelical character were hardly known except in Non- 
conformist chapels. The hymns " JESUS meek and lowly " 
and "Jfisus, my LORD, my GOD, my all " were written for 
use in an East-End Mission Chapel by the priest in charge 
about the year 1854. The Bishop of London objected to 
them as " contrary to the spirit of the Book of Common 


Prayer," but the priest stood out. In 1861 the hymns 
were incorporated with the first edition of Hymns Ancient 
and Modern ; the episcopal opposition to them has long 
since died away. I had this almost incredible story from 
the lips of the author himself. Of course the bishop was 
right in a sense they are not liturgical hymns. But to win 
the careless and recover the fallen one must wander outside 
liturgical forms. We go to the other extreme nowadays, 
and mission hymns with their emotional tunes may be heard 
even in the solemn offices of a great choir. Truly we have 
moved far from the standpoint of the fifties ! 

Between 1861 and 1875 Hymns Ancient and Modern 
developed into the form we now know, and in 1889 the 
Supplement was added as " a temporary expedient." 

If we think to-day that its provision of the ancient office- 
hymns was meagre, its recognition of the Communion of 
Saints somewhat timid, and many of the hymns admitted 
viciously sentimental, we must remember the date and 
circumstances of its publication and the condition of things 
from which it came to deliver us fifty years ago ; though it 
be now out of date, we can never forget the services it has 
rendered to the Church of England. 

In the nineteenth century music in England was at a 
low level, ecclesiastical musicians were caught in the stream 
of bad taste, and Monk, who edited Hymns Ancient and 
Modern^ was not fortunate in his composers. To them we 
owe those tunes of the part-song type and the sugary trifles 
which are now, alas ! so popular with the uncultivated 
multitude. The good old tunes, too, were severely handled 
and often completely spoilt by the alteration of their time to 
suit Mid-Victorian ideas. Finally, the Plainsong emerges 
in the dress bestowed upon it by an uncritical age. The 


Solesmes monks had hardly begun those studies which 
were destined to revolutionize both the theory and 
the practice of Plainsong ; some of the melodies are in 
corrupt versions owing to the editor's ignorance of the 
neumatic notation, and all are badly harmonized and their 
characteristics thereby destroyed. 

In 1904 the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 
fully alive to the shortcomings of the old book, presented 
to the Church their new edition. Its failure to win 
acceptance owing to the ignorant prejudices of clergy 
and congregations is a matter of common knowledge. 
No doubt the pedantic alteration of well-known texts 
was a terrible mistake, but from a musical point of view 
the new edition is infinitely superior to the old ; it is 
really difficult to understand how any self-respecting 
priest and congregation can still adhere to a book so 
hopelessly out of date from the point of view of modern 
scholarship. Let us note the words of Mr. J. A. Fuller- 
Maitland, late musical editor of the Times, one of the 
foremost musical critics of the day. 

" The popular collection, Hymns Ancient and Modern, had 
in the course of years become overlaid with sentimentalism 
of every description, and the proprietors recently sought 
the aid of a strongly representative committee, to whom 
they entrusted the work of preparing a new edition. The 
office hymns were set to their proper tunes, and these were 
associated with harmonies in keeping with their character ; 
beautiful old hymns were restored to the collection, and the 
original versions of the words and the music were found 
and printed wherever it was possible, though, of course, 
there were many cases of questionable alteration. The 
weight of public prejudice was found to be too strong for 


the book, and in a great number of churches the old 
collection is retained in use." I 

What is the reason for this dead weight of popular 
prejudice which stands in the way of the necessary reforms ? 
Lord Hugh Cecil has taken hymn tunes as an example in 
his essay on " Conservatism." 

" Every one," he says, " is acquainted with the irritation 
caused by the singing of a familiar hymn to an unfamiliar 
tune . . . our ears are expecting the old one ; we long for 
the accustomed impression, and every note of the new 
melody disappoints us and has almost a discordant ring." 

And why is this pre-eminently the case with hymn 
tunes ? Of all compositionsi hymns make the most direct 
and the simplest appeal to the human heart A hymn, 
discharged from some overmastering association, flies 
straight to its mark, and, like a barbed arrow, may not be 
withdrawn without pain and suffering. That this is the 
case my readers can verify for themselves. " Go through 
a hymn-book with your most intimate friend, one who 
thinks as you do on every detail of musical taste, and you 
will, I think, be surprised to find that he will confess to a 
sneaking regard for some dreadful piece of inanity, while 
he will probably hold up hands of horror at some of your 
own preferences. The reason is, of course, obvious to 
every one who considers the power of association. We are 
all accustomed to certain hymns from childhood ; we heard 
them at our mother's knee, or sang them at school, and 
thus grew up to delight in some and to detest others, both 

1 The Need for Reform in Church Music. A Lecture delivered to the Members 
of the Church Music Society on May 29, 1910, in St. Paul's Chapter House, 
by J. A. Fuller-Maitland, Esq., F.S.4. A most valuable paper, from which 
I shall have to make several quotations. 


opinions being quite possibly baseless and prejudiced. 
Association is, indeed, one of the great attractions of 
hymns." l If this be true, how heavy is the responsibility 
of the clergy. It is their duty to do their utmost to 
educate the taste of their congregations, to take care that 
associations are formed round the right kind of tune, to 
banish as far as possible the mawkish and the sentimental, 
and so to raise gradually the musical standard of the 
worship we offer to Almighty GOD. It would surprise my 
readers to learn how very modern most of our bad popular 
tunes are, generally about thirty or forty years old, often 
displacing better ones to which the hymns concerned were 
formerly sung. The latter half of the nineteenth century 
was about the worst period for hymn tunes. 

We want to make the clergy thoroughly discontented ; 
we want to spur them out of their present apathy ; only by 
plain speaking can we hope to raise the Church out of the 
pit into which she has fallen. But pray let the adverb 
gradually be noted ; the best in this matter may easily be 
the enemy of the good. The enthusiastic " Plainsong " 
vicar has a pure taste in music and a fastidious liturgical 
sense, but to follow unrestrainedly whither his bent leads 
him is to efface himself as a musical reformer. And this 
is true in the compilation of hymn-books. The English 
Hymnal^ with all its scholarship and musical excellence, 
contains at least fifty tunes, and, in my judgement, more 
than one hundred hymns, which are unworthy of the rest, 
but which must be included in any Church hymn-book 
it it is seriously intended to provide for the necessities of 
the day. Again, it must be remembered that a modern 
hymn-book has to provide for three very distinct necessities 

1 Fuller-Maitland. 


(i) Liturgical worship ; (2) Mission services and catechism; 
(3) Private reading and singing. The clergy, with whom, 
under our system, rests the unfettered selection of hymns, 
ought to train themselves to these distinctions. Gradually 
the office hymns should take their rightful places, other 
hymns within the Prayer Book services should be con- 
gruous to its liturgical spirit, and the more emotional and 
subjective hymns relegated to other occasions or associated 
with the sermon. This applies equally to the tunes. The 
more cultivated the congregation the easier these reforms 
should be. 

Not much more can be done at present than has been 
done in this book, from which most of the subsequent 
illustrations will be taken, i.e. to give with unstinting hand 
the finest melodies of every age and every part of Western 
Christendom, alongside of such of the old, and often 
worthless, favourites as are not too contemptible for 
insertion. A patient whose taste has been depraved by 
long indulgence in exciting liquors must be allowed his 
daily dram, though in diminishing quantities, before he can 
subsist entirely on more wholesome and less stimulating 
food ; the English Hymnal relegates the worst of these 
spiritual "nips" to Part II of the Appendix. 1 

We may comfort ourselves with this reflection All 
things being equal, musical excellence will assert itself. 
Let us gradually wean ourselves from bad associations ; let 

1 I think the musical editor has been a little hard on " Northrop " 
(No. 8). It is a good tune for " While shepherds watched their flocks 
by night " when this hymn is sung as a carol. At any rate it is a fair 
specimen of a distinctively Methodist tune, dating, I should judge, from 
the end of the eighteenth or quite the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
and of much the same type as the deservedly popular " Helmsley." And 
there are some dreadful tunes in the "Missions" section. 


us teach our people not to expect in our churches com- 
petition with the music-hall. For here, in the House of 
GOD, we withdraw for a little space from the turmoil of the 
world, its witching fascinations, and the passing fashions of 
the day, into an atmosphere which is more serene an 
atmosphere which inspires us with the memories of bygone 
ages and with the hopes which reach forward into that 
" dear, dear country," that " Paradise of joy " 

" Where trees for evermore bear fruit, 

And evermore do spring, 

Where evermore the angels sit, 

And evermore do sing." 



THE music sung in our churches at the present day 
falls into two main divisions Plainsong (often called 
Gregorian^ because all the chants attributed to S. Gregory 
the Great and his school were necessarily in this style) 
and Modern Music. We will fix the commencement of 
Modern Music at the beginning of the sixteenth century ; 
this is a rather arbitrary line of division, but one must be 
drawn somewhere, and the year 1500 is good enough for 
our purpose. 1 It will be now our task to examine the 
Plainsong system, and to trace the gradual evolution of 
Modern Music. Throughout we shall bear in mind that 
it is hymn tunes, ancient and modern, which we are dis- 
cussing, and we shall try to arrive at some standard of 
excellence by which to judge the compositions that we 

Plainsong stands by itself as the true liturgical music 
of the Western Church ; it and the liturgical forms which 
it clothes have so grown together in the course of ages that 
we can hardly conceive of a complete separation. Just as 
in the furnishing of our churches, and the ceremonial 
employed therein, no violent break with the past is possible 
to any body of Christians claiming continuity with the 
Church of the Fathers and of the Middle Ages, so all 

1 The Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society takes the year 1550 
as the limit beyond which it does not pursue its study. See note on p. 14. 



ecclesiastical music, having grown out of the Plainsong, 
must have a definite relation to it ; it must bear the marks 
of its ancestry on its face, and show no disposition to ignore 
the rock from which it has been hewn. This is, indeed, 
the supreme test of excellence in Church music, and com- 
positions which will not pass it we may safely put on one 
side. They are usually the work of uncultured musicians 
who happen to be organists by necessity or choice, and, 
being organists, are expected to be composers of Church 
music, or of themselves rashly embark upon a task for 
which they have no adequate training. 1 Fortunately this 
type of organist is getting rarer. 

The day is over when musicians of first or even second 
rank could sneer at Plainsong. Musical culture has made 
enormous strides during the past fifty years, and meanwhile 
the labours of the Solesmes Fathers have revolutionized 
both the art and the science of the old music. If any such 
musicians still linger, they are but Mid-Victorian ghosts 
late in being laid to rest. This is not a treatise on plain 
chant, but we must briefly point out the characteristics of 
the musical system which has given us hymn tunes which 
have been sung uninterruptedly for more than a thousand 
years, which are still sung in every country in Europe, and 
which, it is tolerably safe to prophesy, will be on the lips 
of Christians centuries after the tunes which are written 
to-day have passed into oblivion. Of what compositions 
produced during the last three hundred years can we say 
with confidence that they will be played or sung a thousand 
or even five hundred years hence ? Are we quite sure 

1 Mr. Fuller-Maitland gives an instance of " Jackson in F," and 
suggests that the author of this " notoriously flimsy service " might quite 
possibly have won a lasting success in light comic opera ! 


that such masterpieces as Handel's oratorios, Beethoven's 
sonatas, and Wagner's operas will be still performed in, 
let us say, the year 2500 ? If persistence is a test of 
excellence, in the whole range of art Plainsong is only 
surpassed by classical forms in architecture, where the 
total disappearance of the orders is almost beyond our 
power to conceive. A fairly close parallel might be drawn 
between the inspiration which all pleasing forms of archi- 
tecture and of music alike draw from their sources. In 
both we feel that the violent straining after novelty T art 
noubeau is an abomination. 

Plainsong differs from Modern Ecclesiastical Music in 
three particulars. 

1. Modern Music is measured i.e. the accents occur 
at regular fixed intervals, and the words follow the music. 1 

Plainsong is not measured i.e. the accents occur 
irregularly, making the rhythm free, but subject to certain 
laws of proportion which satisfy the ear, and the music follows 
the words. 

2. Modern Music has only two scales or modes, the 
major and the minor, depending upon the position of the 
semitones ; Plainsong has eight. 

Of the Eight Modes, the odd numbers are called 
authentic, and are as follows : (i) D to D, Dominant A, 
Final D. (iii) E to E, Dominant C, Final E. (v) F to 

1 It must be born in mind that using the term " Modern Music " in 
the sense we have previously defined this is not quite true of the polyphonic 
music of the sixteenth century. This is transitional music unlike the 
Plainsong, every note has a distinct time value, but the accent occurs on 
the strong syllables, not on the first beat of the bar. When listening to 
the work of Palestrina, Lassus, Vittoria, etc., you ought not to feel that 
you are listening to barred music at all. So also the old modes were used 
by the polyphonic school. 


F, Dominant C, Final F. (vii) G to G, Dominant D, 
Final G. The even numbers are called ptaga/, and each 
bears an intimate relation to the preceding authentic mode, 
having the same final. They are (ii) A to A, Dominant F, 
Final D. (iv) B to B, Dominant A, Final F. (vi) C to 
C, Dominant A, Final F. (viii) E to E, Dominant C, 
Final G. The only accidental allowed, for certain purposes, 
is B flat. 

There are fourteen possible modes. Of these, 
Modes ix and x are practically reducible to Mode i and ii. 
Modes xi and xii are rejected because of the false fifth, 
and Modes xiii and xiv were not used for ecclesiastical 

3. Modern Music admits of harmony, and, indeed, 
relies upon it for its appeal to the senses. Plainsong is 
essentially a unisonal system, as naturally follows from No. i . 
For any attempt at polyphony instantly destroys the freedom 
of the rhythm, and compels some kind of mensuration. 

The two kinds of music being on different planes, 
comparison between them is difficult ; but the following 
passage dealing with difference No. 2 is worth quotation : 
" Modern Music has deliberately given up whole mines 
of melodic treasures so as to better exploit the veins of 
harmonic wealth which underlie the modern scales. No 
one need quarrel with this action, for the gain harmonically 
is immeasurable ; but nevertheless the harmonic gain 
involved a melodic loss. So far as pure melody is con- 
cerned, there is infinitely more richness and variety in the 
old eight modes than in the two modern ones. A modern 
ear is often so warped and stunted that it fails to appreciate 
the beauties at first ; they are too new and strange for its 
limited and narrowed appreciation ; but that soon alters, 


and before long the old melodies, with their peculiar 
tonality and severe harmonies, 1 begin to exercise a fascina- 
tion which, in its way, is quite as powerful as the gorgeous 
glory of modern harmony, and is much more suitable to 
serve religious ends." 2 And of its chief characteristics 
Sir Hubert Parry says, " Of style in relation to attitude 
of mind and mood, that of the old Church music is probably 
most characteristic." He goes on to speak of " its con- 
templative and devotional character, its quietude and 
inwardness a style so subtly consistent and so perfectly 
regulated that hardly anything in the range of modern art 
can compare with it. The instant true secular music came 
into being this perfect aptness was doomed. "3 

I am quite conscious that Plainsong tonality often 
irritates the unaccustomed ear. This is because we have 
become so used to the major and minor modes that we 
instinctively try to reduce every piece of music we hear to 
the one or the other. But the greatest musicians have not 


disdained the use of the old modes. On the opposite page 
are two lines of music. The first is the opening of the 
Alma Redemptoris Mater, an eleventh-century composition ; 
the second, the first bars of 'ParsivaL Both are in the Fifth 
Mode, and of the two Parsival seems the stricter by not 
always flattening the B. The melodies have such a curious 
resemblance that it is difficult to believe that Wagner 
wrote this motive without a reminiscence of the famous 
antiphon. Both are of an almost unearthly loveliness ; 
which is the more beautiful it is hard to say. For 
purposes of comparison I have put the Alma into modern 

1 That is, modal organ accompaniment. 

2 Elements of Plainsong. 3 Style in Musical Art, 1911. 


notation, and both into the same key, in " the seat " of 
the mode. 


Be - demp - tor is ma - ter 


We will take three examples of Plainsong hymns. As 
printed below, the top stave gives the melody in the old 
notation. This notation is wholly developed out of the 
grave and acute accents. The neums, or note-groups, 
formed from these accents, appeared in the ninth century ; 
these were first put upon a stave by Guido d'Arezzo in 
the eleventh century. There is no difficulty in distinguish- 
ing the notes ; there are two clefs, the C clef | and the 
F clef 1 (often written in plainer characters), which make 
the lines on which they are placed respectively C and 
F, and are movable so as to keep the melody upon the 
stave. It is to be remembered that the notes, or neums, have 
no time ^a/ue whatever. In singing a piece of Plainsong 
music, read the words first, note where the accents naturally 
fall, then clothe the words with the melody, singing lightly and 


with the greatest freedom. When elaborate neums, or 
note-groups, occur it is a rough working rule to let the 
first note take the stress of the voice, drawing, as it were, 
the other notes after it. Skilled musicians, however, would 
give different values to the different neums, each having 
its own proper rendering. For it must be remembered 
that Plainsong is a musical system of the utmost delicacy 
and technicality ; whilst nothing is easier or more congre- 
gational than the simple hymn tunes and the psalm tunes, 
the melismatic Plainsong of, let us say, the Alleluya chant I 
demands both knowledge and skill on the part of the 

The harmonies given below in modern notation are 
only suggestions for accompaniment ; and where the 
melody is awkwardly high or low in its seat, as it is called, 
it is transposed in the accompaniment. Thus, in the first 
example, the melody begins on F and is transposed in the 
accompaniment, so that it begins on G. 

There are two kinds of Plainsong : 

1. Syllabic, in which each syllable is sung to one note 
with only occasional note-groups, and those of a simple 

2. Melismatic^ which is composed largely of note- 
groups, often of an elaborate kind. 

Our first example is syllabic, and in the Fifth Mode. 2 
(Before singing these Plainsong tunes those unaccustomed 

1 An example of an Alleluya chant is given in E. H., No. 738, at page 
891 of the Music Edition. It will be referred to when we deal with 
the Sequences. 

2 As here given. But before the fifteenth century in all MSS., 
whether of Sarum, York, Worcester, Peterborough, Barking, or Gisburn, 
it occurs as an Eighth Mode melody, i.e. written a tone higher. I am 
indebted to the Rev. G. H. Palmer for this note. 



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OFFICE HYMN. Low Sunday 
till Ascension, M. 

i i 

4th of 5th cent. Tr. T. A . L 

Sermone blando Angelas. 

His cheering message from the grave 
An angel to the woman gave : 
" Full soon your Master ye shall see ; 
He goes before to Galilee." 

But while with flying steps they press 
To bear the news, all eagerness, 
Their LORD, the living LORD, they meet, 
And prostrate fall to kiss his feet. 


to the old tonality will find it advantageous to play over 
the modal scales in which they are written.) This beauti- 
ful tune has been sung in the English Church to the 
Easter hymn from Saxon times. E. H., No. 124, Part 1 ; 
H.A. and M., No. 142 N. E. 

Our second example is also syllabic, and in the First 
Mode (E. H., No. 52). The stately words are by S. 
Ambrose, and how different from the sentimental stuff 
which so often does duty for a hymn in our churches ! 
The translation is by Dr. Bridges, the Poet Laureate. 
This hymn is the proper office hymn for Monday morn- 
ing from Epiphany to Lent. 

The last example (p. 23), Lux beata Trinilas, is 
melismatic ; it is in the Eighth Mode. E. H., No. 164; 
H. A. and M., No. 36 N. E. 

In my judgement the more elaborate melismatic 
tunes as, for example, Aeterne Rex altissime (E. H., 
No. 141 ; H. A. and M., No. 167 N. E.) are rarely suitable 
for parish churches ; their graceful note-groups need 
the skilled chanters of " quires and places where they 
sing." For hymns are very definitely the people's 
part of the service, and all tunes which reduce the con- 
gregation to silence should be rigorously eschewed. O 
Lux beata 'Trinitas is an exception, for on examination 
it will be found that three of the four lines of music are 
exactly the same ; it is very easily learnt, therefore, and 
as it is the Saturday evening office-hymn from Trinity 
Sunday to Advent, repetition will soon make it familiar. 
And there is this peculiarity about Plainsong tunes 
though it takes some little trouble to learn them, once 
learnt they remain fixed in the memory for ever. 

In the English Hymnal all the old English office- 



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J. ^. J J. J. 

4_ : - Q o 

Splendor paternae gloriae. 

S. Ambrose, 340-97. Tr. Y.H. 

O Splendour of GOD'S glory bright, 

O thou that bringest light from light, 

O Light of light, light's living spring, 

O Day all days illumining. 

O thou true Sun, on us thy glance 
Let fall in royal radiance, 
The Spirit's sanctifying beam 
Upon our earthly senses stream. 

Morn in her rosy car is borne; 
Let him come forth our perfect Morn. 
The Word in GOD the FATHER one, 
The FATHER perfect in the SON. 


hymns, so far as they are required by the Prayer Book 
Kalendar, are given, with their proper melodies. In the 
new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern nearly all the 
office-hymns for the seasons and some of those for the 
Holy Days are given, also with their proper melodies. 
In both books modern tunes are supplied for the office- 
hymns for use where the Plainsong cannot be attempted. 
The old edition of Hymns Indent and Modern is deplorable 
in this respect. Comparatively few of the office-hymns are 
inserted, and some of these translated into the wrong 
metre. Where the Plainsong melodies are attached they 
are sometimes late corrupt versions, sometimes Plainsong 
treated as modern tunes, and even Plainsong melodies 
corrupted, apparently through the editors of the day being 
unable to read the old notation. The accompaniments, 
too, rarely take any account of the modes in which the 
tunes are written, thus effectually destroying the character 
of the music. 



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OFFICE HYMN. Saturdays from Trinity 

Sunday to Advent, E. S. Ambrose, A.D. 340-97. Tr. J. M. Neale. 

O Lux beata Trinitas. 

O Trinity of blessed light, 

O Unity of princely might, 

The fiery sun now goes his way ; 

Shed thou within our hearts thy ray. 

WE now leave Plain song and come to the other great 
division, which may be called that of Modern Hymn 
Tunes, because, whatever their character, they conform to 
the system of mensuration ; they are all in more or less 
strict time. How did so great a change come about ? 

Early in the Middle Ages the effects of harmony were 
known, and clumsy attempts at part-singing called dhcant 
were made. l By the end of the fifteenth century musicians 
had so far progressed in the laws of harmony that, like 
a resistless tide, part-singing invaded the sanctuary ; from 
that moment the delicate and graceful accentuation 
and rhythm of Plainsong were lost ; the excellences of the 
two schools of music could not exist side by side, and 
Plainsong became for centuries the bond-slave of modern 
music. Only in our own days have the labours of the 
monks of Solesmes restored to us the true method of 
rendering the ancient melodies. 

The reason for this loss is not obscure. Whilst a single 
voice, or even a choir of voices, so long as they sing in 
unison, can maintain the freedom of rhythm, directly 
voices begin to sing in parts and in contrary motion, 
mensuration becomes absolutely necessary. That mensura- 

1 But in the thirteenth century there occurs in England an extra- 
ordinary instance of polyphonic excellence, " Sumer is icumen in." 



tion may not be as rigid as in the barred music of the 
present day, but it is quite sufficient to destroy the grace 
and beauty of the plain chant. 

This will be made abundantly clear by an example (p. 26) 
originally written by Tallis (1515-85) for Psalm cxix and 
set by Messrs. Royle Shore and Francis Burgess to the 
Magnificat. Here the two opening verses, being simple 
Plain song, can be sung lightly and gracefully in the old, 
free manner. In the third verse Tallis introduces the 
faux-bourdon harmonies. Instantly the whole character of 
the chant changes ; the intonation of the tone, which is 
in the tenor part, is dropped, mensuration takes the place 
of the old rhythm, dignity and majesty replace elegance 
and grace. So perfect is the harmonic colouring in the 
hands of the great master that we are reconciled to the 
loss of the old beauties, but the loss is there. And as 
the canticle proceeds, the contrast of the alternate Plain- 
song and harmony seems to bring into relief the excellences 
of each whilst emphasizing the greatness of the change. 1 

Plainsong melodies now became but the framework 
round which were twined the various melodies above and 
below the cantus firmus in the works of that splendid school 
of contrapuntal musicians of whom Palestrina is the greatest 

1 This example is from the series of canticles, polyphonic and homo- 
phonic, by English composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
which were sung in our cathedrals up to the Great Rebellion. They 
are published by Messrs. Novello & Co., the simpler in the " Parish 
Choir Book " Series, and the more elaborate in the " Cathedral " Series of 
Church Service Music of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. 
We are indebted to the enthusiasm of Mr. Royle Shore for rescuing from 
oblivion this beautiful music. So well had the destructive Puritans done 
their work that it nearly perished during the troubles. When the choirs 
were reassembled in the cathedrals at the Restoration, the old traditions 
were only partially recovered and the barbarous " Anglican chant " arose. 



1. My soul doth mag-ni-fy the Lord ; and iny spi-rit hath re-joic-ed in God my Sa-viour. 





2. For he hath re-gard - ed : the low- li - ness of his hand-maid-en. 



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3. For be - hold, from h<?nce-forth : tfL^ghafl" cdl1 me ^ 
PLAINSONO. <== - ---^ call me bless -ed 

ed " 

call me bless ed. 

example. As early as 1516 Ornithoparcus laid down that 

"all the notes of the Plainsong are to be sung in equal 

1 Copyright, 1913, by Novello 8c Co. Ltd. 


length and without accent or rhythm." Modern ecclesi- 
astical music was now fully born. The subsequent history 
of Plainsong is one of the deepest degradation. Still, 
professedly sung as plain chant, in the process of forming 
the contrapuntal framework its true rendering had been 
forgotten, and it became the monotonous and inartistic stuff 
still heard in most Continental churches, revived in this 
form in our own churches at the beginning of the Oxford 
Movement, and deservedly unpopular with all true 
musicians. It was left for the Solesmes monks to teach us 
how to read the MSS. and how to sing the chants they 
practically re-discovered. This is what is known as the 
Solesmes method, now being widely introduced both in 
England and abroad. 

Whilst mensuration meant a grievous loss to the prose 
part of the services, it had no such evil effect upon the 
hymns. A moment's consideration will reveal the reason 
whilst Plainsong adapts itself to the free rhythm of prose, 
measured music is quite applicable to the fixed rhythm of 

Take the prose of the English psalter, where the 
accents are balanced with such captivating proportion : 

Try me O God, and se'e^ the ground of my heart : prove me 
and examine my thoughts, where five accents are balanced 
against three, or 

Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit : or whither shall I 
go then from thy presence ? 

But, though balanced, the number and accents of the 
syllables are not fixed as in poetry, and subjected to 
the rigorous laws of metre. Whilst no beauty of 
harmony can redeem the Anglican chant from its innate 
barbarism, there is nothing to offend the most cultivated 


taste in modern hymn tunes, whether harmonized or in 
unison. 1 

Let us now take the French ecclesiastical melodies as 
the first development from the Plainsong. These have 
been persistently brought to the notice of English choirs 
by the Rev. J. B. Croft, priest-organist of S. Matthew's, 
Westminster, and are first presented to English Churchmen 
on a considerable scale in the English Hymnal, where they 
are given as alternatives to the Plainsong tunes for the 
office hymns. They are easier for most choirs and more 
congregational, because more closely allied to Modern 
Music. They may be regarded, indeed, as a link between 
the old and the new, and are an interesting development 
of liturgical music in France, dating from the sixteenth 
century. These are the hymn tunes you will hear through- 
out the French cathedrals and parish churches ; they are 
professedly, but by no means strictly, in the eight ecclesi- 
astical modes, 2 Modes i and v predominating, and for 
this reason : They arose in the musical epoch we have been 
discussing, when harmony was coming to the front and the 

1 "The Anglican chant, is of course, an anomaly from the historical 
point of view as well as the artistic. . . . Some of us feel that the 
restoration of the real Plainsong would not only be a positive gain in itself 
but would have the additional advantage that it would sweep away the 
Anglican chant. As for the double chant, association is the only thing 
that can excuse it, and the quadruple chant is an invention which it 
is difficult to refer to in temperate language." Fuller-Maitland. A 
praiseworthy attempt to promote the free singing of Anglican chants 
has been made by Messrs. Marshall and Pile in their Tearless Tsalter 
(Novello). Provided that simple chants are chosen, and that they are 
sung in unison, the result seems to me quite satisfactory. Thus treated, 
Anglican chants become what is practically Plainsong in the modern 
tonality of major and minor. 

2 Being on the border-line between ancient and modern tonality, their 
complexion will greatly depend upon whether their harmonization follows 
their professed modes, or is in the terms of major and minor. 


eight modes were going out of use, not because their 
tonality was disliked, be it remembered, but owing to the 
great difficulties which the contrapuntal musicians of that 
day encountered in providing harmonies for these modal 
melodies (it would be going into too great technicalities to 
explain the reason). Major and minor, therefore, were 
evolved out of Modes v and i respectively, and the 
others eschewed as far as possible. 

These French ecclesiastical melodies are of two kinds : 
(i) Measured versions of Plainsong tunes ; (2) Com- 
positions of much the same character, either old " Prick- 
song" 1 or tunes written in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and 
eighteenth centuries. 

The first example is measured Plainsong. On the two 
next pages, opposite each other for the purpose of com- 
parison, are the two tunes ; that on the left the original 
Plainsong tune (E. H., No. 150 ; H. A. and M., No. 178 
N. E.), and that on the right what the French musicians 
of the sixteenth century made of it (E. H., No. 51, " Lucis 
Creator "). Both tunes are in the First Mode. 

1 Pricksong is mediaeval secular music, used on certain occasions, by 
way of licence, in church. This music was measured and, indeed, included 
dance tunes. A very early specimen is " Sumer is icumen in " (Perspice 
Christicola), 1260. It was not infrequently in the Thirteenth Mode, 
exactly equivalent to our major, which was called the " Lascivious Mode," 
thought unfitted for liturgical purposes and only used thus when you 
wanted to be a little naughty ! 





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C2 C2- . 

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S v 






In moderate timt = 144. 
_s n To be sung in unison. 


Angers Church Melody. 

O Blest Creator of the light, 
Who mak'st the day with radiance bright, 
And o'er the forming world didst call 
The light from chaos first of all ; 

Whose wisdom joined in meet array 
The morn and eve, and named them Day : 
Night come with all its darkling fears, 
Regard thy people's prayers and tears. 


The next example is a tune wholly in the major, 
though in the French service-books it would be written 


in Pseudo-Plainsong notation and labelled Mode v. 
It is, so far as I know, an original composition, 
probably of the sixteenth century. (E. H., No. 18.) 



in moderate time * = 144. 
To be sung in unison. 

Rouen Church Melody. 

For this how wondrously he wrought ! 

A maiden, in her lowly place, 
Became in ways beyond all thought, 

The chosen vessel of his grace. 

She bowed her to the Angel's word 
Declaring what the FATHER willed, 

And suddenly the promised LORD 

That pure and hallowed temple filled. 


Before leaving these melodies I must refer to the 
history of one of our deservedly popular tunes, associated 
with the hymn, "Soldiers, who are CHRIST'S below" (E.H., 
No. 480 ; H. A. and M., No. 447 O. E.). This is 
French mediaeval " Pricksong," and in its original form 
is known as the "Sequence, or Prose of the Ass." We 
have all heard of the donkey which a certain titled 
lady some years ago asserted had walked in a Palm 
Sunday procession in one of our churches, and which, 
vainly tracked from church to church, proved to be an 
entirely mythical beast ! But at Sens, on New Year's Day, 
they had a real donkey which was brought into the 
cathedral on this " Festival of the Ass," or " Feast of 
Fools," as it was named. We cannot mix the grave with 
the gay in the way our simple forefathers could, and these 
Christmas games, both the Boy Bishop in England and the 
Feast of Fools on the Continent when the choirboys went 
into the canons' stalls and the sacred offices were parodied, 
buckets of water were poured over the precentor's head, 
and the deacon brayed like an ass at the Ite missa est seem 
to us quite astoundingly indecent. The " Prose of the 
Ass " was sung as the donkey was brought to the cathedral 
door, and the words tell us what a beautiful animal he was 
and all that he did, carrying the wise men's gifts to Bethle- 
hem, etc. 

The following is the first verse : which may be translated : 

" Orientis partibus " From the regions of the East 

Adventavit asinus, Came an Ass, a lovely beast ; 

Pulcher et fortissimus, Sleek was he, and very strong, 

Sarcinis aptissirnus. Fit for bringing loads along. 

Hey, Sire A me, hey!" Hail, Sir Donfoy, hail!" 


The Prose of the Ass. 


In moderate time mi =144. 
To be sung in unison. 

Je - lu 


Michael Weisse, c. 1480-1534. 
Tr. C. Winkworth. 

CHRIST the LORD is risen again ! 
CHRIST hath broken every chain ! 
Hark, the angels shout for joy, 
Singing evermore on high, 

Alleluya ! 

He who bore all pain and loss 
Comfortless upon the Cross, 
Lives in glory now on high, 
Pleads for us, and hears our cry. 

Alleluya ! 


In vain popes, councils, and archbishops fulminated 
against this ribaldry, the Feast of Fools went on. At last, 
after some centuries, the donkey was got out of the church, 
but he still went round the town of Sens until he finally 
disappeared some two hundred years ago. With him went 
his pretty little tune, and I believe it is sung only in our 
English churches through the accident of its being 
found by Redhead, and set to "Soldiers, who are CHRIST'S 
below" in Hymns Ancient and Modern. 1 As adapted to this 
hymn the music of its refrain, "Hey, Sire Asne, hey!" is 
omitted. The complete tune is given on the previous 
page, set to an Easter hymn, the last line being pro- 
vided with the more decorous refrain, AHeluya (E. H., 
No. 129). 

The time of the tune suggests that they danced 
round the donkey as they brought him along ! Another 
delightful tune of this type is " Solemnis haec festi- 
vitas" (E. H., No. 123) ; I suspect a secular origin. 
Note how hard it tries to be good, and " recollected " 
in the last verse, but lamentably fails and goes tripping 
away ! 

There is a peculiar kind of faux-bourdon harmony, very 
simple and yet very effective, which is often employed in 
France to embellish these ecclesiastical melodies. It con- 
sists of a single part above the melody 2 sung by boys' voices, 
whilst the rest of the choir and the congregation sing the 
melody in unison. The effect is thrilling ; it gives the 
curious impression of an ethereal choir joining in the 
worship below ; and those who hear it for the first time 
often turn and look up at the roof ! This simple device 

1 In the original edition it appears as a tune by Redhead ! 

2 Often a distinct melody, as in the example given below. 


solves a great difficulty. For how should hymns be 
ordinarily sung ? If the choir were singing alone harmony 
would be in its place. But hymns are confessedly the 
people's part, and directly the congregation joins in the 
entire balance of the four-part harmony is destroyed. 
Whilst certain portions of the service are rightly left to 
the choir alone, others are intended for the whole congre- 
gation, and musical propriety dictates that these should 
be in unison. No good effect is produced by spasmodic 
attempts at part-singing by the unfortunate individuals 
who are compelled by the high pitch of our hymn- 
books to choose between this and the alternative of 
silence. 1 

This French faux-bourdon is not really harmony, it is 
rather the embellishment by discant of unisonal singing 
and, as such, a device of a very high artistic value. 

Our next illustration (p. 39), therefore, will be a stately 
and majestic tune from Rouen in the major, depending for 
its effect on its strict mensuration (E. H., No. 242, Coelites 
plaudanf). It is to be sung in unison. 

At the third or fourth verse the faux-bourdon part 
should be added by half a dozen boys' voices, more or 
less, according to the volume of the unisonal singing. 
The faux-bourdon should be loud enough to be heard 

1 The " tyranny of choirs " has almost ruined congregational hymn- 
singing in many of our town churches. In the first place, the rest of the 
music is made so elaborate that the people, being unable to sing this, have 
lost the habit of singing anything ; it is a well-established tradition of the 
Church to have some elaborate music for the trained singers, but not all 
the music, even to the Creed, as is so often the case to-day. Secondly, 
the pitch of the hymns is raised to suit the part-singing of the choir. 
Many of the melodies as given in Hymns indent and {Modern are above 
the compass of male voices. 


soaring above the mass of voices, but not so loud as to 
drown the melody and lead the congregation away from it. 
And the device should not be overdone ; it should be 
used at intervals to relieve a long spell of unisonal 
singing. 1 

The metre of this hymn is Sapphic ; it is frequently 
found in Latin hymns, and is one of the easiest metres 
for a congregation to sing. Many fine tunes have been 
composed in it, from the various Plainsong melodies to the 
Hertzliebster Jesu, adapted by Bach from a melody by Crilger 
and used in The Passion according to S. Matthew (E. H., 
No. 70). 

The origin of the curious term faux-bourdon has not 
been determined with certainty. A plausible derivation 
is the following. Discant was viewed with great disfavour 
at Rome ; absolutely prohibited by Pope John XXII in 
1322, it only gradually gained ground. Even then the 
men were restricted to the plain chant, and progressions 
in sixths were forbidden. As direct disobedience was 
difficult, evasion was practised. The music, as written, 
showed only parallel thirds and fifths. But the bass, in 
singing, transposed his part an octave higher, and from the 
" false bass," now the top part, a succession of thirds and 
sixths resulted. Thus : 

Written : 

Sung : 

1 A collection of faux-bourdons for the French ecclesiastical melodies in 
the English Hymnal is being prepared for publication. 



To be sung in unison. 

I 1 

p rrTrr 

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Christe, sanctorum decus Angelorum. 
OFFICE HYMN. M. for Michaelmas, 

CHRIST, the fair glory of the holy angels, 
Thou who hast made us, thou who o'er us rulest, 
Grant of thy mercy unto us thy servants 
Steps up to heaven. 

Send thy Archangel, Michael, to our succour; 
Peacemaker blessed, may he banish from us 
Striving and hatred, so that for the peaceful 
All things may prosper. 


Another derivation is that it is simply the translation 
of musica ficta, i.e. not the Plainsong. 

Faux-boitrdon and accompaniment by J. B. CKOFT. 








bf p 


Send thy Archangel, Gabriel, the mighty ; 
Herald of heaven, may he from us mortals 
Spurn the old serpent, watching o'er the temples 
Where thou art worshipped. 


THE next group of tunes is also French, but in some 
respects further removed from the old hymnody, 
being of Protestant origin and associated with the metrical 
psalms which formed the chief part of the Reformed 
worship. It is, indeed, more closely allied to the German 
hymns of the sixteenth century than to the Plainsong, and 
took definite shape in the collection known as the Genevan 
Psalter, begun by Marot in 1541 under the musical editor- 
ship of Louis Bourgeois, who adapted some of the melodies 
and wrote others of great excellence (1542-57). The 
influence they had in France at the time of their issue 
was tremendous. Catholic kings like Francis 1 did not 
disdain their use, and during the Huguenot ascendency 
everybody sang these hymn tunes in the court, in the 
street, and on the battlefield. l They have an austereness 
which seems to recall the grim religious struggles of the 
sixteenth century, and are very suitable for solemn and 
grave hymns. Les Commandements de Dieu, written or 
adapted by Bourgeois, had its notes equalized and was then 
truncated to fit a L. M. metre in English hymn-books. 

1 Psalm Ixviii, the psaume de bataillcs of the Huguenots, is E. H., No. 
544, turned into a battle-song of the English Church by the inspiring 
words of Mr. Lacey. Douen fancifully describes the melody as portray- 
ing a great storm ; the opening bars giving the first mutterings of its 
approach, then the crash of double thunder-peals, and, finally, the last 
rolling of the thunder as the storm passes into the distance. 



(See H. A. and M., No. 201 O. E., and, rather surpris- 
ingly, No. 336 N. E.) The original version is given in 
E. H., No. 277, set to Ellerton's fine hymn, "The day 
thou gavest, LORD, is ended," in place of the appalling 
" S. Clement." That this barrel-organ tune should have 
achieved so great popularity amongst English congregations 
is one of the best proofs of the degradation to which we 
have been led by following the dangerous fashion in hymn 
tunes set in the middle of the nineteenth century by 
Dykes, Barnby, and Stainer. 

On the following pages the two tunes are given for 
the purpose of comparison. 



A good tune. Note its beautiful rhythm and quiet 

Slow <y =bQ (J =100). , x 


Original form of melody composed, 
or adapted 6y L. BOURGEOIS 
for the Genevan Psalter, 1543. 


p * rp "TTPTV~P i ~"i n 

The day thou gavest, LORD, is ended, 
The darkness falls at thy behest ; 

To thee our morning hymns ascended, 
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest. 

We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping, 
While earth rolls onward into light, 

Through all the world her watch is keeping, 
And rests not now by day or night. 


A really bad tune. Note amongst its faults the 
initial interval of a major sixth which compels a portamento 
and thus, at the very beginning of the tune, induces that 
ultra-sentimentality which is so characteristic of it. Again, 
this interval coming before B and C accentuates the semi- 
tonal interval which helps to give the tune its effeminacy. 
When the first line comes round again, at the third line, it 
is difficult to restrain one's feelings ! The harmonization, 
too, does not mitigate its faults. 

ST. CLEMENT. ((98.98.) 
In moderate time *> = 112. 

The sun that bids us rest is waking 
Our brethren 'neath the western sky, 

And hour by hour fresh lips are making 
Thy wondrous doings heard on high. 

So be it, LORD ; thy throne shall never. 
Like earth's proud empires, pass away ; 

Thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever, 
Till all thy creatures own thy sway. 


Another example from the Genevan Psalter, con- 
tinuously in use in Scotland as "Old I24th," is very 
happily set in the E. H., No. 352, to the famous funeral 
hymn of Prudentius. It is a wonderfully solemn tune, and 
it would be difficult to find any better suited to the words 
and the occasion than this exquisite melody. An alternative 
setting with the melody in the tenor is given in E. H., 
No. 114. 

Like the foregoing, some of these tunes found their 
way into the English and Scottish metrical psalters, often 
adapted and not thereby improved. The most noteworthy 
is the splendid " Old Hundredth," written by Bourgeois in 
1551 for Psalm cxxxiv. Three settings are given in the 
E. H., No. 365. The wretched modernized versions 
given in the old edition of H. A. and M., Nos. 435, 
516, should be absolutely shunned. 

The beautiful tune called in England " Dundee " 
(E. H., No. 43) is too well known to need insertion. It 
is from the Scottish Psalter of 1615, and there called 
" French Tune." These old C. M. tunes were always sung 
very slowly and written with long notes at the beginning 
and end of every line. In the last century all the notes of 
" Dundee " were made equal, except the finals of the 
second and fourth lines, and the tempo quickened. 1 It is 
quite spoilt by this severe handling ; it is turned into a 
modern tune and all its dignity lost. 2 

1 See versions in H. A. and M., No. 80 O. E., No. 83 N. E. 
3 This is well discussed in the notes to the Tattendon Hymnal. See 
p. 68. 


OLD 124TH. ( 

Slow <z> = 66. 

Melody in Genevan Psalter, 1551. 



l ' 



-I 1 ' 


FATHER of spirits, Whose divine control 
Doth bind the soul and body into one, 
Thou wilt restore this body now undone ; 

For once it was the mansion of a soul, 

Where dwelt the glowing wisdom of thy SON. 

Thou, Maker of the body, dost ordain 

That this thine image, moulded by thy will, 
Our every hope in glory shall fulfil ; 

So, till the body thou dost build again, 

Thou wilt preserve the spirit freed from ill. 


The following from the Scottish Psalter of 1635, based 
on the Genevan Psalter and known as Old loyth, is so 
characteristic that it deserves to be inserted in this place. 
(E. H., No. 493.) 


Slow * = 96 ( G = 48). 

k-a F ' ^H-- := m ^Rfa i i 

rf tr 


J J-r-1 

rzzz: = 



PTTT^'T ^ 




-J- 4t 

f - r:r f^- 

i r TT 

3/-s. C. F. Alexander, 1823-95. 

The roseate hues of early dawn, 

The brightness of the day, 
The crimson of the sunset sky, 

How fast they fade away ! 


O for the pearly gates of heaven, 

O for the golden floor ; 
O for the Sun of righteousness 

That setteth nevermore ! 


The highest hopes we cherish here, 
How fast they tire and faint ; 

How many a spot defiles the robe 
That wraps an earthly saint ! 


O for a heart that never sins, 
O for a soul washed white ; 
O for a voice to praise our King, 
Nor weary day or night ! 

AN entire volume would be inadequate for the treatment 
of the German hymns, which have long attained a 
popularity beyond the land of their birth, besides furnishing 
themes to the greatest musicians. 

As early as the ninth century tropes of the Kyrie l were 
versified in the language of the people, and hymns in the 
vernacular, either translations from the Latin or of the 
carol type, were sung all over Germany throughout the 
Middle Ages. The soil was therefore ready for the seeds 
of modern hymnody which Luther planted. However 
much we may differ as to Luther's merits as a theologian 
and a reformer, none will question his literary taste and 
his musical genius. 

German hymn tunes, therefore, may be divided into 
two groups : (i) mediaeval and traditional melodies, often 
adapted and harmonized by masters like Praetorius ; (2) 
tunes written by Luther and his contemporaries, notably 
CrQger, which set the type known as the chorale and 
obtained their highest musical development at the hands of 
John Sebastian Bach. 

The earlier melodies are often very lovely and sweet. 
To my thinking, the chorales are not all suited to English 

1 LORD, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this !aw, is the 
most familiar instance to us of a " farced " Kyrie, the latter part being the 


choirs and congregations, in whose mouths they are liable 
to become dull. For, in the first place, the " tyranny of 
choirs " has largely destroyed congregational singing, both 
by over-elaboration of the general music and the raising of 
the pitch of hymns for part-singing ; and, secondly, the 
reaction in the middle of the nineteenth century, after the 
perpetual metrical psalm-singing, has not only quickened 
the pace of the hymn-singing where it was needed, but has 
led to the mischievous belief that all singing to be "hearty" 
must be fast. It is safe to say that, whilst all Plainsong 
tunes must be sung lightly and rather quickly, the majority 
of measured tunes are better taken slowly ; this is especi- 
ally the case with the chorales and the old psalm tunes. 

Anybody who has heard chorales sung in Germany, 
say in Cologne Cathedral, by a vast congregation, at a pace 
slower than any of our untravelled choirmasters could 
imagine^ has had an experience which will leave an indelible 
impression on his mind. 

Of the first class of German tunes we will take two 
examples, " Puer nobis nascitur " of Praetorius (1571 
1621) and " Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen." 

Here is the original of " Puer nobis nascitur," a little 
carol of the fifteenth century : 



Unto us is born a SON, 
King of Quires supernal : 

See on earth his life begun, 
Of lords the LORD eternal. 


Out of this Praetorius made the beautiful tune which 
is printed opposite. Notice the quiet first line, beginning 
and ending on the tonic (D above middle C), as does the 
second line, only here the melody rises quickly to end on 
the D, an octave above that of the first line. In the third 
and fourth lines the melody gradually falls to its grave and 
quiet ending. We may note also the time and rhythm, 
which give a rocking, soothing character to the tune. 
Being written for a hymn to the Infant CHRIST, it is just 
the kind of melody a mother would chant for a lullaby. 
(E. H., No. 14.) 




In moderate time * = 144. 

Composed or adapted by 

M. PRAKTORIL'S, 1571-1(521. 

Harmonized by G. R. WOODWARD. 

[Hay be sung in unison throughout.^ 

Come, thou Redeemer of the earth 
And manifest thy virgin-birth : 
Let every age adoring fall ; 
Such birth befits the GOD of all. 

Begotten of no human will, 
But of the Spirit, thou art still 
The Word of Gon in flesh arrayed, 
The promised fruit to man displayed. 


The famous mediaeval melody, " Es ist ein' Ros' 
entsprungen," as set by Praetorius, is a tune of haunting 
beauty. This is the hymn which, sung slowly and 
majestically as a band of children scattering roses advanced 
in solemn procession up the great arena, created so deep 
an impression upon the audience at Olympia, London, 
during the performance of " The Miracle." The music 
of " The Miracle " was arranged by some of Germany's 
foremost musicians, and they knew how to choose their 
materials. No tune better shows what can be done by 
the simplest means. Note the line formula, A A B A, and 
the simplicity of A. Of course the beauty of the tune is 
greatly dependent upon the rhythm, which a nineteenth- 
century hymn-book compiler would have ruthlessly 
destroyed. (E. H., No. 19.!) 

If you want a contrast to the sickly sentimental part- 
songs which invaded all Anglo-Saxon hymn-books during 
the last half of the nineteenth century, set these meretricious 
compositions beside " Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen." 

1 I wish the original words of the sweet and touching melody had been 
kept, but perhaps they are a little too much of the carol type to suit a 
hymn-book. Here is one verse, following closely the translation in Mr. 
Woodward's notable book Songs o^Syon. 

" A spotless Rose is blowing 

Sprung from a tender shoot, 
By olden prophet's showing 

From Jesse came the Root : 
It bore a Blossom bright, 

In depth of chilly winter, 
And in the dead of night." 



ES 1ST EIN' ROS' ENTSPRUNGEN. (76.76. 676.) Ancient German Melody, Harmony 

In moderate time > = 100. chiefly from M. PEAETORIUS, 1571-1621. 

a full and ho - ly cure. 
,*^ " .... 

T~r ~f , r . 

_J^j J ,^J-JC^-J 

A - men. 


and peace on earth 

[The performance of this tune will be easy if it is remembered 
that the time-)>alue of a crochet is the same throughout.'] 
S. Germanus, 634-734. Tr. J. M. dQale. 

Me'ya KOI TrdpSo^ov 9au/u.a. 

A great and mighty wonder, 

A full and holy cure ! 
The Virgin bears the Infant 

With virgin-honour pure. 

Defeat the hymn again ! 
" To God on high be glory, 
peace on earth to men!" 

The Word becomes incarnate 
And yet remains on high ! 

And Cherubim sing anthems 
To shepherds from the sky. 



and Alleluyas.) 

In moderate time, dignified W = 100. 

Melody from ' Geistliche Kirchengetdng 
(Coin, 1623). 


} -r 

Fr^>i ij f- 4= h g '- -H I ! | F^-p 





-* m - 





Al-le - lu - ya, Al-le- 

- _Q____ -*----- _C2l_t 



lu - ya, Al-le - lu - ya, Al-le - lu - ya, Al-le - lu 

ya ! 


Ye watchers and ye holy ones, 

Bright Seraphs, Cherubim and Thrones, 

Raise the glad strain, Alleluya ! 
Cry out Dominions, Princedoms, Powers', 
Virtues, Archangels, Angels' choirs, 

Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya ! 

O higher than the Cherubim, 
More glorious than the Seraphim, 

Lead their praises, Alleluya ! 
Thou Bearer of the eternal Word, 
Most gracious, magnify the LORD, 

Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya ! 

Respond, ye souls in endless rest, 
Ye Patriarchs and Prophets blest, 

Alleluya, Alleluya ! 
Ye holy Twelve, ye Martyrs strong, 
All Saints triumphant, raise the song 

Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya ! 

O friends, in gladness let us sing, 
Supernal anthems echoing, 

Alleluya, Alleluya ! 
To GOD the FATHKR, GOD the SON, 
And GOD the SPIRIT, Three in One, 

Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya, Alleluya ! 


Of the second type of German tunes, Luther's hymn 
" Ein' feste burg" (E. H., No. 362, with Carlyle's inimit- 
able translation; H. A. and M., No. 416 N. E. 1 ) ; "Nun 
danket " of CrOger (1598-1662), "Now thank we all our 
GOD" (E. H., No. 533 ; H. A. and M., No. 506 N. E. ; 
No. 379 O. E) ; the Passion Chorale of Hassler (1564- 
1612), "O Sacred Heart, sore wounded," of which there 
are two versions by Bach in the English Hymnal, with a 
translation by the Poet Laureate ; and " S. Theodulph " 
(Valet will ich dir geben) by Teschner (c. 1613), set to 
"All glory, laud, and honour " (E. H., No. 622 ; H. A. and 
M., No. no N. E. 2 ), are the best known to English con- 
gregations, and very fine examples. The English Hymnal 
and the new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern both have 
the splendid chorale " Wachet auf " (E. H., No. 12 ; H. A. 
and M., No. 348), the former to a translation of the 
original words. The chorale " Lasst uns erfreuen " 
(E. H., No. 519), formerly quite unknown in this 
country for there was no English hymn in the metre 
to which it could be sung is now becoming popular at 
church festivals, and deservedly so. Its English career, 
as " Ye watchers and ye holy ones," may be said to 
have begun at the Church Pageant of 1910. 

1 No. 378 old edition, where it is set to "Rejoice to-day with one 
accord." Pay no attention to the metronome direction and shun the 
"Second Version" altogether. 

2 There is a serious corruption in the version of H. A. and M., old 
edition, condemned very strongly in the new historical edition. 


IN considering purely English tunes, to the exclusion 
of those derived from French or Scottish sources, the 
material is so abundant and the styles so varied that it 
is no easy task to select examples which shall be fairly 

First in time and has he a superior in his art ? comes 
Tallis (1515-85). Who is there that does not know his 
famous canon, 1 set in all our hymn-books to Bishop Ken's 
Evening Hymn, " Glory to thee, my GOD, this night," 
or Tallis's Ordinal (9th Tune), set to " O HOLY SPIRIT, 
LORD of Grace " ? These two tunes are further examples 
of the power of simplicity in the hands of a master. 
Besides these several other tunes by Tallis, hitherto very 
little known, are given in the English Hymnal^ of which the 
Seventh Mode melody is perhaps the most striking (No. 
496). The new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern gives 
us two tunes by Tye (Nos. 126, 314). Next comes 
Orlando Gibbons ; we will take his " Angel's Song," one 
of the most beautiful of his compositions, and give it as 
he wrote it, from which we shall learn the depths to which 

1 A canon is a contrapuntal composition where the melody repeats 
itself in two or more parts. Two versions of Tallis's canon are given in the 
English Hymnal ; in one the treble leads off with the melody and the tenor 
follows, in the other, the original, the arrangement is reversed. The 
canon is in the Fourteenth Mode. 



the musicians of the Victorian era could plunge themselves, 
and, unhappily, our unfortunate congregations. (E. H., 
No. 259.) 

Dr. Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate, says of this 
tune in his notes to the Tattendon Hymnal^ " Its. great beauty 
is mainly due to the exquisite rhythm, as any one may see 
by comparing its degraded form in H. A. and M., No. 8. 
The first line is a 'short sapphic' in alia breve time. The 
second line, by a simple syncopation, gets free of the double 
beat, and allows the last two lines to flow as in triple time." 
The new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern has set this 
right ; but, alas ! the damage is done, and it will take 
years before we get the travesty out of our churches 
and even our cathedrals. 


ANGEL'S SONG ( (SONG 34). (L.M.) 

Slow * = 110 ( <3 = 55). 

Original version of melody by 
O. GIBBONS, 1583-1625. 

- -f--f r i i r i iii 1 r i r 

V y 

C. Wesley, 1707-88. 

Forth in thy name, O LORD, I go, 
My daily labour to pursue ; 

Thee, only thee, resolved to know, 
In all I think, or speak, or do. 

The task thy wisdom hath assigned 
O let me cheerfully fulfil ; 

In all my works thy presence find, 
And prove thine acceptable will. 


Lawes (15961662), a fine song-writer, was not so 
successful in his hymn tunes. Of the five specimens given 
in the English Hymnal only two seem to me of real excel- 
lence. One is set to a hymn of Bishop Ken's on the 
Blessed Virgin, or, rather, to an excerpt from a long ipoem 
of his. (E. H., No. 217.) 


FARLEY CASTLE. (10 10. 10 10.) 

In moderate time & = 72. 

H. LAWES, 1D9C-1662. 

:fjpS tf^p^-. ==^q=q= : 


"* ^-S TO 
Q Q P 3 1& 

zz?^ zr 

Her Virgin eyes saw GOD incarnate born, 
When she to Bethl'em came that happy morn ; 
How high her raptures then began to swell, 
None but her own omniscient SON can tell. 

As Eve when she her fontal sin reviewed, 
Wept for herself and all she should include, 
Blest Mary with man's Saviour in embrace 
Joyed for herself and for all human race. 


" S. David " (E. H., No. 166) is a good example of the 
stilt) in which the melody progresses in a series of hops. 
This was a style much affected by the Puritans. 

The Cavaliers burlesqued another stilt, resembling 
" York " (E. H., No. 472), by putting to it the following 
words : 

" Adam and Eve would never believe 
That Peter the Miller was dead, 
Shut up in a tower for stealing of flour 
And never could get a reprieve. 

They bor'd a hole in Oliver's nose, 

And put therein a string ; 
And then they led him round the town 

For murthering Charles our King." 

(See English County Songs. Leadenhall Press. 1893.) 
Dr. Bridges says, " the best stilts are beautiful, and 
together with their active vigour they show an unexpected 
plaintiveness in fetching their long intervals." To me 
they reflect the grim, hard Puritan, or the dour, covenant- 
ing Scotchman. I am afraid I am by nature and upbringing 
a " malignant " ! No doubt this is where prejudice see 
what I have said above comes in. 

Jeremiah Clark (1670-1707) was organist of S. Paul's 
Cathedral from 1695 to his death; he "shot himself in 
the head with a screw pistol " in a fit of melancholic insanity. 
Dr. Bridges says of him, " He seems to have been the 
inventor of the modern English hymn tune, which degraded 
into empty flourish, < quavering and semi-quavering care 
away,' before 1800. His tunes are beautiful, and have 
the plaintive grace characteristic of his music and melan- 
choly temperament. They are first in merit of their kind, 
as they were first in time, and they are truly national and 


ST. DAVID. (C.M.) 

Moderately slow d = 69. 

Present form of melody in 
Ravenscroj't's Psalter, 1621. 

~ d - ^^^ 

Eniber Days. 

CHRIST is gone up ; yet ere he passed 
From earth, in heaven to reign, 

He formed one holy Church to last 
Till he should come again. 

His twelve Apostles first he made 

His ministers of grace ; 
And they their hands on others laid, 

To fill in turn their place. 

So age by age, and year by year, 

His grace was handed on ; 
And still the holy Church is here, 

Although her LORD is gone. 

Let those find pardon, LORD, from thee, 

Whose love to her is cold : 
And bring them in, and let there be 

One Shepherd and one Fold. 

J. M. Neale, 1818-66 


popular in style, so that their neglect is to be regretted." 
The best known of his tunes is probably " S. Magnus " 
(Nottingham), associated with the hymn, " The head that 
once was crowned with thorns," but the most characteristic, 
and perhaps the finest, is " Bishopthorpe " (S. Paul's). 
(See E. H., No. 408 ; H. A. and M., No. 41 N. E.) 

Carey (16901743) wrote a tune of a very similar 
character called " Surrey " (E. H., No. 491 ; H. A. and M., 
No. 25 N.E.), and he hanged himself! Finally, a nine- 
teenth-century composer, G. Smart, wrote another in the 
same style " Wiltshire " which is better known than 
either of the foregoing, having been set in the old edition 
of Hymns Ancient and Modern to " Through all the changing 
scenes of life." 

Croft (1678-1727) is credited with two well-known 
and exceedingly fine tunes "Hanover " and "S. Anne" 
which are common to all collections. He found the first 
line of" S. Anne " and added the other three. Both these 
hymns are of the slow and solemn type, and are quite 
ruined by being taken at a quick pace. As to the long 
initial notes, I think Dr. Bridges is right in saying that 
whilst these old psalm tunes should ordinarily be sung as 
they were written, there can be no objection to a modern 
.compiler using some liberty of judgement in this matter, as 
they do not obviously suit all melodies. Dr. Bridges and 
his collaborator, Professor Wooldridge, keep the long 
initials in " S. Anne." 

Knapp's fine tune " Wareham " must not be passed 
over (E. H., No. 475 ; H. A. and M., No. 63 O. E., No. 
345 N. E.). He died in 1768. 

Robert Wainright (1748-82) composed "Man- 
chester," a fairly well-known tune (E. H., No. 168 ; H. A. 




In. moderate time 7 =7fi. 

Original version of tune by 
T. WRIGHT, 17(53-1829. 

O for a heart to praise my GOD, 
A heart from sin set free ; 

A heart that always feels thy Blood 
So freely spilt for me : 

A heart resigned, submissive, meek, 
My dear Redeemer's throne ; 

Where only CHRIST is heard to speak, 
Where JESUS reigns alone. 


and M., No. 354 O. E., No. 544 N. E.). Whenever it is 
sung the touching story of this good man's misfortune 
should be known. He was an accomplished organist. 
One day a man twisted his fingers for a joke and cruelly 
dislocated the joints, rendering them for ever useless. 
" Let him go, GOD forgive him," was all that Wainright 
said in his hour of pain and bitter loss. 

If we want to see how eighteenth-century composers 
wrote tunes of the " bright and hearty " type, we may 
take " S. Thomas " (E. H., No. 1 1), " University " (E. H., 
No. 93, there happily set for Refreshment Sunday), and 
" Stockton." The latter is ruined in the old edition of 
Hymns Ancient and Modern (No. 213) through the alteration 
of the last line by Dr. Dykes. Not only is this retained in 
the new edition, but there is a further alteration of a note 
of the melody in the second line. The original is given on 
the previous page. (E. H., No. 82.) 

We are now nearing the decadent period. The 
Methodist tunes shunted hymnody on to one set of wrong 
lines, 1 the Mid- Victorians with their part-songs and mawkish 
melodies, now, alas ! so popular with the uncultivated multi- 
tude, on to another. But a few serious musicians, like the 
elder Webbe, kept to the more sober traditions, and right 
through the worst period fine tunes have been written. 
Gauntlett wrote tunes many of which deserve to survive, 
and Goss's fine melody to Lyte's hymn, " Praise, my soul, 
the King of Heaven " (E. H., No. 470), reaches a very 
high level of excellence. Of living composers it would be 

1 "Helmsley" (E. H., No. 7) and "Northrop" (E. H., Appen- 
dix VIII) are specimens of this type. " Helmsley " has defied all efforts 
to suppress it; it is certainly a very fine tune. " Caersalem " (E. H., 
No. 39"), hailing from Wales, is another. (See next chapter.) 


invidious to make selections. I hope those of my readers 
who are following this brief sketch of hymnody will be 
able to sift the good from the bad, the worthy compositions 
from the meretricious. And let all writers of hymn tunes 
study carefully the treasure-house of the past. So vast is 
the collection stored therein that they will be wise to think 
twice before making additions they will not find it easy to 
confer immortal lustre upon their names ; they may, indeed, 
by ill-hap, confer upon them something very different. 
And let them further consider that a few brief years of 
popularity are no sufficient test ; even a century may but 
reflect a passing fashion. When a tune has been sung 
uninterruptedly and by different races of mankind for from 
five hundred to a thousand years, then, and not till then, 
may it be crowned. 


WE have had to insist continually on the importance 
of hymns as the people's part of the services. 
There are occasions when elaborate choir-music is in place, 
and, indeed, elaborate music is not a modern invention, 
as some people think ; as we shall see in the next chapter, 
there was plenty of it in the early centuries of the Church. 
S. Augustine himself draws the distinction between the 
music in his day that was to be sung by the whole congre- 
gation, that by the choir, and that by certain skilled singers. 
We have noted, too, that harmony loses its beauty when 
handled by a "scratch" body of singers such as a con- 
gregation, whilst raising the pitch of hymn tunes to suit 
the four-part harmony in our ordinary collections has had 
the effect of silencing a considerable proportion of the 
worshippers. We pass, therefore, to tunes of the more 
popular type, English Folk-song, and touch on our way 
upon Welsh hymn-tunes. 

These have much in common with Folk-song even 
when not, as in some cases, actually Folk-song them- 
selves. They have been strangely neglected in the 
hymn-books of the Church of England, for they are the 
product of the most musical race in the United Kingdom. 
They have a peculiar fervour and pathos, a beauty, 
indeed, that is all their own ; their fault is a tendency 




ABERYSTWYTH. (77.77. D.) 

Slow <z> = 58. 

JOSEPH PARRY, 1841-1003. 

Sir R. Grant, 

By permission of Messrs. Hughes & Son, Wrexham. 

Saviour, when in dust to thee 
Low we bow the adoring knee ; 
When repentant, to the skies 
Scarce we lift our weeping eyes : 
O, by all thy pains and woe, 
Suffered once for man below, 
Bending from thy throne on high, 
Hear our solemn Litany. 



to emotionalism such as we might expect to find in music 
composed by Celts. The emotional tunes are unfitted for 
purely liturgical use, but very suitable for mission services. 
Over a dozen of the most celebrated Welsh tunes are in 
the English Hymnal. I give two specimens, the first, 
" Aberystwyth," on the previous page (E. H., No. 87 ; 
H. A. and M., No. 534 N. E.). The hymn " JESU, 
Lover of my soul," is usually sung in Wales to this tune. 1 
The beautiful traditional Welsh melody in the First 
Mode with the unpronounceable name " Ymdaith Mwngc " 
(E. H., No. 203) is too long for insertion here. Like 
the foregoing modern tune, it is of the grave and solemn 
kind. The modern tune "Bryn, Calgaria" (E. H., No. 203) 
is in Modes ix and x. 2 "Moriah" (E. H., No. 437), 
a very popular Welsh tune, and "Caersalem" (E. H., No. 
397) are examples of the emotional type, the latter is 
given on the opposite page. In a tune like this the choir- 
master can "let himself go " in piano ^rA forte ^ the melody 
seems to require a crescendo in the repeat. But this kind 
of thing should be sparingly attempted in hymn-singing 
and expression^ i.e. following the words with piano 
and forte is quite alien to congregational singing. The 
hymn for S. Bartholomew, in Old Hymns Ancient and 
Modern (No. 419), is a poor composition, but it is made 
worse by the musical directions : 

mf Was it he, beneath the fig-tree 

Seen of thee and guileless found . . . ? 

p None can tell us ; (cr) all is written 
In the Lamb's great book of life. 

1 " Hollingside," the melody to which we sing this hymn in England, 
seems to me one of the best specimens of Dyke's work. His emotional 
style well suits the words. 

2 Welsh musicians do not despise the old tonality. 



CAERSALEM. (87.87.47.) 
In moderate time & = 80. 

Welsh Hymn Melody. 

=r* T=\ 

i 1_ 71 

A A A i A 

1 1 1 a 

_g g^=d=j 

S P & P 


Guide me, O thou great Redeemer, 
Pilgrim through this barren land ; 

I am weak, but thou art mighty, 
Hold me with thy powerful hand : 
Bread of heaven, 

Feed me till I want no more. 

Open now the crystal fountain, 

Whence the healing stream doth flow ; 

Let the fire and cloudy pillar 

Lead me all my journey through : 
Strong Deliverer, 

Be thou still my strength and shield. 


The aggravation to the cultured ear of such a vulgar 
rendering of the hymns is almost intolerable. Old Hymns 
Ancient and Modern was responsible in 1875 f r introducing 
the expression marks which the new edition has wisely 

We now come to the Folk-song tunes, either boldly 
taken and set to sacred words or adapted for this purpose. 
Until the English Hymnal appeared little use had been made 
of Folk-song by compilers of English hymn-books, 1 whilst 
in Germany the greatest musicians have turned to the songs 
of the people for inspiration in their Church music. Two 
circumstances brought about this new departure ; the English 
Hymnal is the only important hymn-book which has 
appeared since the modern interest in Folk-song arose, and 
Dr. Vaughan Williams, its musical editor, is one of the 
chief pioneers of this fascinating branch of music, and one 
of the founders of the Folk-song Society. Probably most 
of my readers know of this society, and the excellent work 
it is doing in searching the villages of England for the old 
melodies which linger there often from ages long past, but 
which now are rapidly disappearing before that dead 
levelling process which is reducing every district and every 
country to the same pattern, and which seems to be 
inseparable from our modern civilization. We cannot be 
too grateful that we live in an age when travel is easy, 
whilst the perfection of communications has not yet 
destroyed national and racial customs, and brought the 
world to a grey and dull uniformity ; our children and 
grandchildren will not be so fortunate. 

But we are wandering too far from our subject, to 
which we must now return. There are certain characteristics 
1 The fairly well-known tune " Stella" seems to be Folk-song. 


which make Folk-song suitable for hymns of a mission 
character and for the Catechism. In the first place, their 
popularity is beyond question ; their very existence proves 
this. For no tune could exist, handed down from singer 
to singer for generations, unless it possessed the qualities 
which made for popularity, and these qualities lie chiefly in 
rhythmical form and tonality. The rhythmical form of 
Folk-song is too intricate a subject for discussion, 1 but its 
tonality comes as something of a surprise. In spite of the 
enormous influence of art-music, by which it has been 
surrounded for centuries, it has refused to be bound by 
the dual system of major and minor. Whilst about two- 
thirds of collected Folk-songs is in the major, the other 
third is divided equally between the First, the Seventh, 
and the Ninth Modes (the last being the Second Mode 
transposed). And the fact that so many melodies are in the 
major does not prove that they are modern. For, as we 
have seen, the major is the Ionian, or Thirteenth, Mode ; 
it was freely used for secular music in mediaeval times, and 
dubbed the " Lascivious Mode " because of its associations. 
Finally, the melodies are generally non-harmonic that is, 
composed without reference to harmony so that nothing 
is sacrificed melodically, as in Modern Music, for the sake 
of harmonization. 

When, therefore, you take a Folk-song melody and 
either set it or adapt it to a hymn, you are sure, in any 
case, of getting a popular tune ; if it is a modal tune you 
get, in addition, a melody with a markedly religious character, 
derived from the tonal association ; and, finally, you have a 

1 It is perhaps worth noting that the rhythmical formula of the Plain- 
song " O Lux beataTrinitas " and the ancient German melody " Es 1st ein' 
Ros' entsprungen " is in each case A A B A, very common in Folk-song. 


tune which often almost refuses to be harmonized, and 
which is, therefore, a congregational tune rather than one 
for performance by a choir. 

These, I believe, were the considerations which led 
Dr. Vaughan Williams to include a number of Folk-song 
melodies in the English Hymnal there called " English 
Traditional Melodies" and experience has shown that his 
speculations were correct. For in every case with which I 
am acquainted, where a fair trial has been made, the popular 
tunes which are bad have faded away before the popular 
tunes which are good. And with regard to their modality 
Mr. Cecil Sharp says in his book, English Fo/^-song, " Culti- 
vated people, who have been brought up on Modern 
Music, will only acquire the art of modal singing 'with 
effort and difficulty ; to many of them the Gregorian tones, 
with their flattened sevenths and unexpected intervals, will 
never sound natural or convincing. On the other hand, the 
congregations of village churches will take to Plainsong 
much more readily, and to the manner born. For the 
Gregorian tones are their own scales, in which for genera- 
tions past their forbears have been accustomed to sing. 
The flattened seventh possesses no terrors for the country 
singer. The leading note is much more likely to cause 
him difficulty. Who has not heard the village organist 
struggling to force the sharpened seventh, especially of 
tunes in the minor mode, upon the unwilling ears of a 
rustic congregation ? " 

Our first example is a pretty little tune set to a funeral 
hymn for babies. Notice the rise of an octave between 
the first and second line ; this is a favourite interval in 
Folk-song. (E. H., No. 355.) 



HAMBRIDGE. (76.76.) 
In moderate time 9 = 1-0. 

English Traditional Melody. 

ne3 f .. - P? no 

im Q' T=^a=jgF=i- 


IL p _ ~?-f^ 

! I 

In Paradise reposing, 

By life's eternal well, 
The tender lambs of JESUS 

In greenest pastures dwell. 

There palms and tiny crownlets, 
Aglow with brightest gem, 

Bedeck the baby martyrs 
Who died in Bethlehem. 


On the opposite page is a beautiful melody in the 
Ninth Mode. Its rhythmical formula is the favourite 
A A B A (E. H., No. 574). 



1,1 moderate tiine& = SO. 

From an English Traditional Melody. 

I i-ll 

- "^^EPPFFT 


^& \ \ i ^r ^^j 1- 

_^^ 4 1 ^ --M I I I 

-ir^^F^ &- ^Q^^Q 




I heard the voice of JESUS say, 

" Come unto me and rest ; 
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down 

Thy head upon my breast " : 
I came to JESUS as I was, 

Weary, and worn, and sad ; 
I found in him a resting-place, 

And he has made 'me glad. 


Two Folk-songs from Somerset, adapted to the " Story 
of the Cross " (E. H., No. 656). 


BRIDGWATER. (64.63. D.) 
In moderate time J = 100. 

PARTS 1, 2, and 5 

Adapted from nn 
English Traditional Melody. 


See him in raiment rent, 
With his Blood dyed : 
Women walk sorrowing 
By his side. 

Heavy that Cross to him, 

Weary the weight : 
One who will help him stands 
At the gate. 

LANGPORT. (64. 63. D.) 

In moderate time m = 100. 

Adapted from an 
English Traditional Melody. 




On the Cross lifted up, 

Thy face I scan, 
Scarred by that agony 
Son of Man. 


Thorns form thy diadem, 

Rough wood thy throne, 
To thee thy outstretched arms 
Draw thine own. 


For freshness and vigour " Monk's Gate," adapted by 
Dr. Vaughan Williams from a Folk-song melody, is hard to 
beat. In the English Hymnal it is set to Bunyan's hymn, 
" He who would valiant be " (No. 402), but I have 
ventured to set words to it suitable for the platform at 
Church meetings one is getting a little tired of the 
inevitable "The Church's one Foundation" and "Aurelia." 
This hymn was first sung at the great meeting of protest 
against Welsh Disestablishment in the Albert Hall, at the 
beginning of 1912, and has been used on several similar 
occasions since ; it is an attempt to mate a text to the 
spirit of the music. In singing this tune for the first time 
be careful to catch the rhythm on which the vigour of the 
tune depends, then the stirring lilt will soon carry away 
a great meeting into enthusiasm. 


MONKS GATE. (1111.1211.) 

Brightly J = 112. 

Adapted from an 
English Traditional Melody. 



r ~r f r~r 

Sons of the Church, arise ! 

Shoulder to shoulder ; 
Loud ring the battle-cries, 

Be but the bolder. 
Let not your eyes be dim, 
Face ye the foemen grim, 
Strike hard, and strike for him, 

CHRIST our Upholder. 

Sons of the Church, arise ! 

Her need most sore is ; 
When men our strength despise 

That strength the more is. 
CmusT-Bride of heavenly might, 
Mother of grace and light, 
None shall do thee despite, 

CHRIST'S our Upholder. 

Sons of the Church, arise ! 

Faint not nor falter ! 
In our safe-keeping lies 

Our country's altar, 
By many a saintly hand 
Reared in our dear, dear land, 
Stand, sons of England, stand ! 

CHRIST'S our Upholder. 

Take from our country, LORD, 

Strife and confusion ; 
Let love and sweet accord 

Be our conclusion ; 
May we win both the day, 
And those who us bewray, 
That all may honour pay 
To our Upholder. 


Lastly, let us take the famous Agincourt ballad, printed 
on the opposite page. A solemn tune in the First Mode, 
it is well fitted for liturgical use, and is given in the English 
Hymnal as an alternative to the Plainsong for the office 
hymn for All Saints (E. H., No. 249). 

" Mediaeval melody," writes the present accomplished 
musical editor of the Times, " melody pat excellence, is 
independent of harmony, though it can be harmonized. 
It is to be distinguished from monody, which is melody 
determined largely by the sequence of the harmonies. 
There is a well-founded idea that modal tunes are more 
virile in character than the others." An examination of the 
Folk-song tunes which I have given will enable my readers 
to verify this, and will, I hope, convince them of the useful 
part these melodies can take in congregational Church 



Moderately slow ^ 92. To be sung in unison. 

English Melody, 15th cent. 

-0 E2. 

-,-|Q_l: 1_Q - 22 - 1 


r r 


I I ' ' 1 

[T |"L ~[ L ~ 

H^C> r if 3 ^r 

p- 1 

Jesu, Salvator saeciili. 

9th Century, Tr. T. A. L. 

For souls defaulting supplicate 
All orders of the Angel state, 
The Patriarchs in line to thee, 
The Prophets' goodly company. 

For souls in guilt ensnared pray 
The Baptist, herald of thy way, 
The wielder of the heavenly keys, 
The apostolic witnesses. 


WE pass, finally, to the Sequences. Historically and 
liturgically there is a wide difference- between hymns 
and sequences, though the latter gradually approached the 
former, as we shall see, and the two are mingled together 
in our modern hymn-books. 

To understand fully what a sequence is we must trace 
the history of the earliest liturgical chants. We have 
already seen that hymns first won a recognized place in 
the choir services in the sixth century, but were not then 
admitted into the Liturgy or Mass. In the Mass, however, 
there were from an early date certain prose anthems, varying 
with the seasons and festivals. Two of these were sung in 
succession between the Epistle and the Gospel ; the first 
is known as the Gradual^ the second as the Alleluya. The 
Gradual is of Apostolic, or at least sub-Apostolic origin ; 
it originally consisted of an entire psalm, sung by the 
lector, with a congregational refrain, 1 and was then called 
the Psalmus responsorius. It was abbreviated and took its 
present form, or something very like it, between A.D. 450 
and A.D. 550, and at the same time was enriched with its 
elaborate melismatic music. The Alleluya chant was 
introduced into the Roman Mass by Pope Damasus 
(A.D. 368-84) at the advice of S. Jerome, from the East, 
where it had long been a feature in the Liturgy of 
1 See S. Augustine, Sermon i 76. 


Jerusalem. Just as the Gradual has been shortened so 
the Alleluya has been lengthened, and now consists of the 
Alleluya, a verse, generally from Holy Scripture, and the 
Alleluya repeated ; from the first the music has been 
highly melismatic. From very early times it had been 
the custom to prolong the melodies to which the Alleluya 
was sung by long cadences extending over groups of 
neums, called a jubilus or a sequentia. On the next page 
is the end of an Alleluya chant with its jubilus, sung to 
the last vowel. 1 

S. Augustine alludes to this practice in his exposition 
of the Ninety-ninth Psalm, " He who sings a jubilus speaks 
no words ; it is a song of joy without words ; it is the 
voice of a heart dissolved with joy . ... its joy is too great 
to put into words." S. Jerome says, " By the term jubilus 
we understand that which neither in words, nor syllables, 
nor letters, nor speech, is it possible to express or com- 
prehend, namely, how much man ought to praise GoD." 2 
Rupert of Deutz in. the twelfth century says, "We jubilate 
rather than sing, and extend a short syllable over several 
neums or groups of neums, in order that the spirit may 
be moved by the beautiful sounds, and may be led thither 
where the saints in glory shout for joy, where everlasting 
life prevails, and where there is no death. "3 And Durandus 
in the thirteenth century adds, " In speech the Alleluya 
is short, but in the neum it is long, for that joy is too 
great to be expressed in speech," thus echoing what 
S. Augustine and S. Jerome had said nine hundred years 

1 An entire Alleluya chant, following a Gradual, is to be found on 
pages 891-94 of the musical edition of the English Hymnal. 

2 In Ps. xxxii. 3 f j) e dfy'tnis Offidis, 1.35. 


In the eighth and ninth centuries this fashion reached 
its height, and following the Gregorian jubilus at the end 
of the Alleluya chant a second jubilus was added, a separate 
composition from Byzantine sources. Opposite is a speci- 
men of one of these Byzantine melodies. Its origin is lost 

Two clerks. 



w i 


irt A 






Al-le - lu 

in obscurity, but it is quite possibly a secular tune from 
Constantinople ; it is called " Puella turbata," or " The 
Distressed Damsel." 

The difficulty now arose of remembering melodies of 
such intricacy and such prodigious length, for only the 
first feeble attempts at a musical notation had been made 


9 1 

at the time, and no stave had been even thought of. Some 
monks of Jumieges seem to have hit upon the idea of 



n > 

' . V rfL 

3 * 

.* -Hi J !li 

. i 4 ^ 


1. Al 

le - lu - ia 3 


: j 



- - 


writing words for these long melodies, so that each note 
should have its syllable. This experiment was taken up 


and developed by Notker Balbulus, a monk of S. Gall 
(A.D. 840-912). Thus was born the Sequence, called also the 
Prose, because as it came from Notker's hand it was a 
rhythmical but non-metrical composition ; so by the irony 
of fate the jubilus, " the song of joy without words," fell 
into words through the very weight of its extraordinary 

Neale's translation of Cantemus cuncti melodum, " The 
strain upraise of joy and praise," is a well-known specimen 
of Notker's work in English. 1 This was strictly syllable 
to note to fit the melody " Puella turbata." Neale 
followed the syllables of the sequence, but unfortunately 
tailed to reproduce the caesuras and the rhythm. The 
translation cannot be sung, therefore, to the original music. 
The Byzantine melodies consisted of successive phrases, 
each of which was sung through twice. After words had 
been put to all these melodies, new sequences were con- 
structed in which both the words and the melodies were 
original compositions. The Victimae paschali, given on 
pp. 95-7, is an early instance of this type. But always, 
as will be noticed, following the original custom, the com- 
position is made up of successive musical phrases repeated, 
so that the sequence consists of pairs of parallel lines, or 
stanzas, often of varying length. 2 Even in the very latest 
sequences, where the metre was as regular as the stanzas 
of a hymn, the music kept the binary form. The Victimae 
paschali is generally ascribed to Wipo, a Burgundian secular 

1 E. H., No. 494 ; H. A. and M., No. 2550. E., No. 328 N. E. 
It is now held to be a doubtful work of Notker's, but there is nothing of 
his undoubted composition (such as Lauda Safoatori, given in the Hymner) 
easily accessible to my readers. 

2 In some cases the sequence leads off with a single phrase, and 
then falls into its pairs. 


priest, and chaplain to the Emperors Conrad II and Hein- 
rich III, in the second quarter of the eleventh century. 
It is one of the five sequences retained by the Roman 
Church after the reform of the service-books in the six- 
teenth century. 1 The melody is arranged in the following 
parts : 

Verse i. 

Verses 2 and 3. 

Verses 4 and 5. 

Verses 6 and 7. 

Verses 8 and 9. 

It is really a little music drama, 2 and is still often sung 
with a certain amount of dramatic expression, the question 
(verse 4) being put by a man's voice, Mary's answer 
(verses 5, 6, and 7) given by a boy's voice, and the full 
choir coming in at verse 8. The sequence is in Modes 
i and ii. 

We talk of" The Easter Hymn " i.e. " JESUS CHRIST 
is risen to-day." Words and tune, as now sung, are scarce 

1 The others are Stabat {Mater (E. H., No. I 15), Veni Sancte Spiritus 
(E. H., No. 155), Lauda Syon (E. H., No. 317), and Dies irae (E. H., 
No. 351). 

2 The sequence was introduced into the Quern quaeritis and when 
so sung the whole formed a little sacred opera after the Third Nocturn at 
Matins, concluding with the Te Deum. Three boys, dressed in albes 
with amices over their heads, represented the three Maries, and as they 
advanced up the choir the precentor would ask, " Die nobis, Maria, 
quid vidisti in via?" ("Speak, Mary, declaring, etc.") Then they 
would reply, " Sepulchrum Christi, etc." From this tiny seed, and not 
from the classical stage, which had perished centuries before (for the 
extraordinary plays of Hrosvitha can hardly be considered a serious link 
with the past), has grown the drama of to-day ; first the miracle plays, 
then the moralities, such as Everyman. From these it was but a short step 
to a play like Marlowe's Dr. Fausfus, and thence began the modern 


a hundred years old (the melody is good of its kind, 
though its extended compass forces the unfortunate con- 
gregation up to F# with dire results !). Meanwhile, 
until the publication of the English Hymnal, the triumphant 
sequence which Western Christendom has associated with 
Easter for centuries was almost totally neglected. 



Ascribed to Wipo, c. 1030. Tr. cento. 
Victimae Paschali. 



1 Chris-tians, to the Pas - dial Vic - tint Of - fer your thank - f ul prai - ses ! 


-G>- -jg-^ -G>- 


j- j 


r^ r-rr 

g~r o pcq 
r^ ' ^ i ' 

2 A Lamb the sheep re - deem - eth : Christ, who on ly is sin - less, 

3 Death and life have con - tend - ed In that com - bat stu - pen - dous : 


i i i 


s= F=f 

J_J ,_gj J-J J-J- 

V g 


Re - con - cil - eth sin-ners to the Fa - ther ; 4 Speak Ma - ry, de - clar - ing 
The Prince of Life, who died, reigns im -mor -tal. 



r rr. 


I ^p- 


What thou saw - est way - far - ing : 5 ' The Tomb of Christ, 


--% g r* 

f I f f 

-~1 - 



who is liv - ing, The glo - j-y of Je - su's Ee - sur - rec - tion : 

6 Bright an - gels at - test . ing, The shroud and nap - kin rest - ing 






7 Yea, Christ my hope is a 


ris - en : To Ga - li lee he 

-* " Pm 



goes be - fore you." 8 Hap - py they who hear the wit - ness, Ma - ry's 
0. Christ in - deed from death is ris - en, our new 

I it iii 


1 11- i- L 

^ *v \ &- 

A A J. j. j. 

v ,Q fj ^ - 



B H i *l 

Ik m 

word be - liev - ing A - bove the tales of Jew - ry de - ceiv . ing. 
life ob - tain. ing. Have mer - oy, vie -tor King, ev - er reign - ing ! 


The sequence, Laetabundus (E. H., No. 22) is a musical 
composition of the highest technique in the Seventh and 
Eighth Modes transposed ; the melodic figures are pecu- 
liarly graceful and admirably conjoined and balanced ; the 
contrasts too between the pairs of verses are exceedingly 
well managed. The unknown composer, who probably 
lived before the time of the Norman Conquest, had nothing 
to learn from us in melodic construction. 



Christmas Sequence, and Office Hymn for Candlemas, 

lli/t cent, or earlier. Tr, cento. 

. " p. - 





1 Come re - joic - ing, Faith - ful men, with rap . ture sing - ing 

2 Mon - arch's Mon - arch, From a ho - ly mai - den spring ing, 


Al - Je 
Migh - ty 

lu - ya ! 3 An, gel of the Coun - sel here, 

won - der ! 4 He a sun who knows no night, 

it =^~Q= 


_J _J_^2 J r? -si-el A ** 

Sun from star, he doth ap - pear, Born of mai - den : 

She a star whose pa - ler light Fad - eth ne . ver. 




1 PI 

n . p_ 

as LEI 


5 As a star its kind-red ray, Ula - ry doth her Child dis-play, 
Still un - dimmed the star shines on, And the mai - den bears a Son, 

r r 








na - ture 
e - ver. 

7 Le - ba - non his ce 

8 From the high - est, him 




| | 







To the 
Word of 

i n if . I* i 


- sop 


the wall Low 
- man frame Now 

- ly bend - 
de - scend - 





- r^i 
i i- 



a= l i r 





t-+ cr 



^ ri.. 

-G*- - 


ev & cy cji ^ tv ^ 


|-rJ F^! 


. jj 

" r il 





" g 

X3 <^3 

^=^ 8 : 



r r f 




9 Yet the syn-a-gogue de-nied What B - sai - as had de - scried: 
10 If her pro- phets speak in vain, Let her heed a Gen - tile strain, 



a ' 

fl. !. . - 

And, from mys - tic 

Sy - bil, gain Light and lead - ing. 

-JZ & ~^ e^zj__ei_^z 

11 No long - er then de - lay, Hear what the Scrip - tnres say, 

12. Turn and this Child be - hold, That ve - ry Son, of old 





Why be cast a - way A rase for - lorn ? 

In God's writ fore - told, A maid hath borne. 

" hr> " & 

TT r ^r 

-o E 2 - 



The greatest writer of metrical sequences was Adam of 
S. Victor (c. 1 1 50). The English Hymnal and Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, new edition, have each translations of some of 
these sequences set to modern hymn tunes. The awful 
and majestic Dies irae, though originally a non-liturgical 
poem, is generally considered the finest sequence ever 
written. Its author is believed to have been Thomas of 
Celano, the friend and biographer of S. Francis of Assisi 
(thirteenth century). The music is an exceedingly solemn 
melody in the First and Second Modes, not strictly in 
sequence form, being in threefold, instead of twofold, 

The texts of sequences gradually fell from the rhyth- 
mical into the metrical form, and became almost indis- 
tinguishable from hymns, though the melodies to the end 
maintained the peculiar characteristics of the sequence. 
Veni^ Sancte Spiritus, ascribed to Stephen Langton (twelfth- 
thirteenth century) called the " Golden Sequence " (E. H., 
Nc. 155; H. A. and M., No. 184 N. E.) is entirely in 
hymn form. 

At last a hymn, Jesu dulcis memoria, was taken and 
sung as a sequence. The melody in Modes v and vi of 
the "Rosy Sequence" (E. H., No. 238) is apparently of 
English origin, and is only found in the printed Sarum 
graduals of 1527, 1528, and 1532. Though still Plainsong, 
and to be sung as such, no strict time-value being given to 
the notes, it betrays its late origin by the leading notes, 
indicative of the period when musicians were being 
profoundly influenced by the ever-growing tide of 
harmony. It is a sweet and beautiful melody ; verse 6, 
with its initial descent and the elaboration of its last 
line, is extraordinarily effective, though for liturgical 


music perhaps a little too emotional in its appeal. With 
this latest development of the sequence we may fitly 

io 5 


In free rhythm J = 112. To be sung in unison. Sarum Gradual, 1527, 1528, and 1532. 

9 9 




2 ^ f~j I ^ 9 ^ ^* ^ C3 * 

^ -&- -0- -^- -*- ^3~ 

( Je-su! the ve - ry thought is sweet ! In that dear name . all heart-joys meet ; 

( But sweet-er than the ho - ney far The glimp-ses of . . his pre-sence are. 

2 No word is sung more sweet than this: No name is heard more full of bliss: 

3 Je - su ! the hope of souls for - lorn ! How good to them for sin that mourn ! 

No thought bringsseet-er corn-fort nigh, Than Je . sus, Son of God most high. 
To them that seek thee, O how kind! But what art thou to them that find? 

4 Je - su, thou sweetness, pure and blest, Truth's Fountain, Light of souls dis-trest, 

5 No tongue of mor-tal can ex - press, No let - ters write its bless - ed - ness : 


iz: _:ZZQ: 



Sur- pass-ing all that heart re-quires, Ex-ceed-ing all that soul de- sires! 
A - lone who hath thee in his heart 

Knows, love of Je - sua ! what thou art. 6 I seek for Je - sus in re - pose, 

7 "WithMa-ry in the morn-ing gloom 

"When round my heart its cham-bers close ; A-broad, and when I shut the door, 
I seek for Je - sus at the tomb; For him, \v ith love's most earn-est cry, 

l There is some uncertainty about the exact musical text of this sequence; slight differences 

departure irom irue seuuciiuc IULIU LU DU.VOI, UK> hvw9vi i >"i . , , . 

composition, I think the descent of verse 5 to the E with which verse 6 commences is probably 

intentional, and not a printer's error. 







H 1- 

8 Je - sus, to God the Fa - ther gone, Is seat - ed on the heaven-ly throne ; 
9. We f ol - low Je - sus now, and raise The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise, 




* J~* 

L Tf 

O \K 




My heart hath al-so passed from me, That . where he is there it may be. 

That he at last may make us meet With . him to gain the heaven-ly seat. 


-r^^T^f- -> Pt^'-